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In the paper, WSD briefs the Council members on the AMR system that will collect the water consumption data of individual customers automatically and remotely.

According to the report: "WSD embarked on a pilot scheme to evaluate the technical performance and data handling reliability of AMR in 2013. Under the scheme, around 350 smart water meters were installed in selected blocks of one government quarters and two public rental housing estates. In 2016, WSD enhanced the pilot AMR by disseminating water consumption information to related customers via a mobile app. The performance of the pilot AMR is satisfactory and it confirms the viability of a larger scale implementation of AMR in Hong Kong."

In the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong, which was published in December 2017, the areas for the implementation of AMR were outlined. In all, around 55 000 smart water meters will be installed between 2018 and 2019 at these two new development areas.

According to WSD, promoting the wider use of AMR helps develop Hong Kong into a smart city.

"It also aligns with international trend towards adopting innovative technologies in meter reading for smart water supply with the following benefits:

  1. Increase metering efficiency by automatic meter reading and accuracy by avoiding human error;
  2. Encourage and facilitate water-saving behaviour by consumers by enhancing their awareness of their water consumption;
  3. Detect abnormal water consumption of individual customers which may be caused by leaks, enabling them to take action to rectify the problem early on;
  4. Enable early and accurate assessment of water losses through nearly real time water consumption data; and
  5. Facilitate better planning and operation of water supply systems based on detailed water consumption data.

WSD will work with private developers and all new government developments will be required to provide and install AMR "outstations [i.e. the equipment installed at individual buildings, according to the briefing] at their developments, conduct testing and commissioning, and hand over the AMR outstations to WSD for future operation and maintenance."

It is estimated that the cost of $800 per meter providing the AMR Outstation, including the conduit system for the cabling network will need to be covered by the private developers, or responsible parties for public and government developments. WSD will cover the cost of the smart water meters.

"Furthermore, there is an additional cost to be borne by the Government at about $700 per meter on average, which includes the procurement and installation of the smart water meters and the establishment of the AMR master station [the backend computer in WSD].

Overall, it is estimated that 460,000 meters will be installed between 2018/19 and 2027/28.